Nov 29, 2011

Bridesmaid Reveal

We finally have bridesmaids dresses! After a uanimous decision by my five bridesmaids, we went with the Alvina Valenta 9866:

 Oh, you mean you can't tell anything by looking at this ridiculous pose? Try this: 

The girls really looked beautiful in this dress. Since they're all attractive and the dress is fairly straightforward, I assumed they'd look good, but my expectations were exceeded when I actually saw all of them in it. It looked great!

We ordered it in taupe satin-faced taffeta, which is the color seen here (this the dress we ordered for Toni, my junior BM):

Admittedly, I've got the heebie jeebies with the color. We saw it in person, but on a very 90s-style dress, which threw me off. And it looks super light in that pic, although when I had it next to a wedding gown in the store it looked fine. I think I am just getting a little nervous signing off on something when I haven't really seen the whole picture. I mean, you don't normally buy clothes by picking a style and color and never seeing the whole thing together!

Regardless, I'm so happy to have this task done! Plus it makes me love the girls even more- they all were able to take time out of their crazy schedules on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to meet up, and we all went out to lunch after and had a great day. Most of them knew each other already, but it was great to see everyone getting along and having fun, and it definitely makes me even more excited for all of the other events we'll spend together in and around the wedding!

Nov 21, 2011

Guest Stress

It's probably safe  to say that every single one of you in wedding world has run into some kind of tricky situation when deciding who to invite to your wedding.
My issue is an enormous guest list, courtesy of Mr. B's family.  
Our venue requires a minimum of 225 people, so the wedding is going to be big no matter what, but the guest list just keeps growing. It frustrates me because I didn't want a huge wedding, and there is a large number of people invited that, to be honest, I just plain don't like. There's also a lot of people that fall into the "we haven't seen them in 15 years but they're our really close friends, we have to invite them" category. My thought process is, if I haven't met or heard of someone in six years of dating Mr. B and attending his numerous family parties, then they don't need to be invited to our wedding.
There's also the guest and kids issue. Everyone's kids "need" to be invited. Like the children of the future in-laws' family friends, whose names Mr. B cannot remember. For example: Mr. B's mom's friend from high school has an 18 year old daughter with a boyfriend, the boyfriend is invited too. (Someone else is following that that's FIVE degrees of separation that we're extending invites out to, right?)  Mr. B's mom is conscious that the list is growing, but seems unwilling to make cuts. She seems very fearful of offending people, and even asked me if it would be okay if she told people my parents were paying and forced her to make cuts, that way she could blame them and no one would get mad at her. (My mom is an incredibly unselfish person, who has said nothing about the guest list, so it is most certainly not okay to throw her name around like that. At least blame me, not my mom!)
It's frustrating because the wedding is expensive and it's a lot of money to keep adding extra people, but Mr. B's family is paying for almost half of it. They're being extremely generous, so I don't want to be a bridezilla, but at the same time, I'm afraid I won't enjoy the reception because it will be filled with strangers or people I don't care for. I don't want to spend my whole time talking, I want to have a second to rock when ACDC hits the speakers. I feel guilty too because of course all of these people I'm complaining about are going to get us gifts, many have already gotten us beautiful, generous engagement gifts. 
I know Mr. B's family thinks I'm a guest list Nazi, and I feel bad about that because they've really let me/us do whatever we want for the wedding. The money they're giving us for the wedding has come with no strings (just people) attached. And of course Mr. B and I aren't seeing eye to eye on this either, and I'm kind of fighting this battle alone, earning that Bridezilla title the whole way.  They're supposed to be sending us their "final" guest list soon, so I'm just praying I'll be able to handle the situation with tact.
In the meantime, where's the line between being gracious, and standing my ground? Do I have anyone's permission to throw a temper tantrum and demand guest cuts?

Nov 10, 2011

Bridesmaid Indecision

After a bit more bridesmaid dress shopping, I've narrowed things down to two final choices. But it's hard to decide on which look to go with, as they're very different and I think the decision may swing the overall concept of the wedding in a certain direction. I'm torn because one is pretty, safe, and traditional, while the other is more my style but also more of a risk. Somehow, I find myself weirdly afraid to do something that is exactly in line with my inspiration board.
Here's the first, Alvina Valenta #9866. It's beautiful and classic, and the girls like it, but it's sort of typical bridesmaidy. I would do it in a pale champagne taffeta:
It's very elegant, traditional, and formal. It seems that whenever I make wedding decisions, I pick things that are elegant, traditional, and formal.
But let's recall my inspiration board:

It's more like elegant, romantic, and vintage. And I feel like this dress suits that concept better:

Plus it has the added bonus of being $100 cheaper and genuinely rewearable, though those advantages are tempered by the drawback of being harder to alter- you can't cut through that lace.

So there's the dilemma. Crazy lady that I am, I'm going to buy the lace one tomorrow and bring it to my dress shop to see it next to my dress. I'm hoping it will look either shockingly awful or really, really awesome. That'll make my decision easier!

Which do you guys like better? Does anyone else feel weirdly afraid to "go for it" with some element of the wedding?

Nov 2, 2011

Addressing Etiquette

Sending our save the dates meant that Mr. B and I had to learn all those rules about how you properly address an envelope. You know, does the wife go first? Doctor first? What if the wife’s the doctor?

So I figured I’d put the rules down here, to save someone out there the trouble of looking them up. I compiled with the assistance of my girl Martha, the ladies of the Knot, and our calligrapher on the “right” way to address things. Do it your way, of course, but if you want the official “rules,” here they are:

Spell Out:
  • House numbers smaller than 20
  • State abbreviations (New Jersey)
  • Street abbreviations (10 Main Street)
  • The word “apartment”
  • Post Office Box

Addressing Rules:
  • If husband is a doctor, it would be “Doctor and Mrs. Daniel Brummel.”
  • If wife is a doctor, it is “Doctor Sally Brummel and Mr. Daniel Brummel”
  • Both doctors, “The Doctors Brummel.”
  • If they have different professional titles, it is “The Honorable Rachel Hayden and Lieutenant Ryen Slegr.
  • If the wife kept her maiden name, it should go first: “Mrs. Rachel Hayden and Mr. Ryen Slegr.
  • Unmarrieds living together are separated by a line, as in:
                   Miss Britney Spears
                   Mr. Joseph Hawley
  • If children are invited, the outer envelope is only addressed to the parents, as in “Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Horowitz.” Then, on the inner envelope, include the kids, as in:
                   Mr. and Mrs. Ross Federman
                   Jack and Jill
  • For single people, address the outer envelope with their name, and include “and guest” on the inner envelope.
  • For a same-sex couple, it is like any other couple: Mr. Jose Galvez and Mr. Robert Cantor.
  • Children over 18, even if living with parents, should receive their own invitation
Doing the save the dates also brought up some of those fighty, awkward questions, like who really needs to bring a date, and must we honestly invite those people’s kids?  Things will still change slightly by the time we do invitations, I’m sure, but it’s a good time to hammer out all those details.

Hope this helps!
Further Resources: The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings